Strategy & Operations » C-suite Communication » Longview: Transforming the office of the CFO through connected finance

The role of CFOs has evolved dramatically over the years. They are expected to develop skills that were not traditionally associated with the accounting function, such as risk management, business planning, and strategic thinking. Today’s CFOs wear different hats as required to become strategic partners to CEOs, helping drive accurate and meaningful business decisions for positioning their organizations for growth opportunities.

However, this transformation is not necessarily an easy one. CFOs seek thorough visibility into enterprise-wide data and have to look at the financial processes of planning, tax provision and reporting, and financial close in a connected model rather than focusing on them individually. But, the current marketplace is filled with disparate solutions to manage individual financial processes, which leads to data silos. This prevents CFOs from gaining access to information in a unified manner, affecting their decision-making capabilities. With a vision of ‘connected finance’, Longview powers the transformation of CFOs by offering a suite of state-of-the-art planning, consolidation, tax, and analytics solutions that leverage the technical synergies between them to bring forth unified information for better decision-making.

Mark Hatton, CEO, Longview remarks: “Unlike other vendors that provide standalone solutions, we offer an integrated suite of solutions for enterprise-wide information visibility.”

Shedding light on the company’s interesting nomenclature, Wayne Stevens, CPO of Longview states: “Longview was named after a town at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Just as the town of Longview gives visibility of a wide landscape, the company’s software provides visibility into enterprise-wide data.” The name also signifies Longview’s relationship with customers, providing them with long-term value.

Empowering CFOs with integrated financial processes

Founded by financial professionals who understand the pulse of the industry, Longview offers products that cater to client’s needs. Longview’s product portfolio comprises solutions specialized for key areas of planning, close, analytics, and tax. The company’s planning solution, Longview Plan, is powered by the recent acquisition of Tidemark, a cloud-based enterprise performance management startup, to help businesses drive digital transformation in finance. “Combining Longview’s corporate planning domain knowledge with Tidemark’s state-of-the-art cloud-based EPM platform we deliver the most robust and innovative corporate planning solutions in the industry,” says Hatton.

CFOs can benefit from real-time financial planning, reduce costs, and provide insightful results. Longview Plan is not only limited to financial planning but also offers solutions for people, profitability, and operational planning.

“Following our connected finance theme, Longview Plan integrates not only processes but also people across departments to get finer and granular data for accurate planning,” adds Hatton.

For financial consolidation, Longview offers a real-time consolidation engine, Longview Close where all the appropriate calculations are done dynamically as it sources data from financial systems. “Here, we put to use our rich experience of over 25 years to understand what the CFOs exactly require in executing key tasks like aggregation and complex FX calculation,” explains Stevens. In terms of FX calculation, the company solves all the complexities around the details of foreign currency translation, making it easier to calculate. What CFOs gain from Longview Close is faster closing times, tighter controls and auditability, real-time consolidation, elimination of error-prone manual tasks, reduced risks, more time for data analysis, and accurate decision-making.

Longview Analytics can pull out relevant information from various data sources apart from the company’s own products to provide greater visibility and reporting

Similarly, for tax provisioning, Longview Tax offers automation capabilities to reduce the time and effort on gathering data, analyzing information, and generating reports. With Longview Tax, teams can easily validate and analyze outcomes and turn into high performing strategic assets. Using the data, CFOs can gain clarity into drivers of tax positions and rapidly identify and respond to anomalies. While the solution has pre-built tax provisioning, it is flexible to each CFO’s unique requirements.

Talking about their analytics solution, Wayne calls it the glue that ties all the business processes together. Longview Analytics can pull out relevant information from various data sources apart from the company’s own products to provide greater visibility and reporting. CFOs can leverage Longview Analytics’ dashboard and reporting solutions as well as forecasting and predictive analytics to gain meaningful insights and make impactful data-driven decisions. The solution can help enhance corporate performance and streamline operations by giving access to dashboards that point to critical metrics at a glance.

To help CFOs navigate the wide product portfolio, Longview’s team of seasoned financial service experts understand their pain pointsand requirements. Based on the CFOs’ needs and objectives, Longview provides best practices around financial services and processes in a short time frame. At the product management level, Longview’s team works with the CFOs to provide the required integrations and configurations in a seamless manner.

Speed, accuracy and productivity in one

Over the years, Longview had made it’s mark in the financial industry as an innovative corporate performance management (CPM) solution provider offering speed, accuracy, and productivity to financial institutions.

This is the reason several business leaders from Global 2000 companies in more than 150 countries chose Longview to make strategic and immediate business decisions. One such success story is that of a large global entertainment company that came up with an elaborate plan to fulfil their finance management needs. Besides improving the time efficiency in book closing, the plan was to overhaul their approach to enhance compliance and financial reporting. They also wanted to track the cash flow and automate the tax provisioning process. Further, the company aimed to implement a solution for connected planning and forecasting as well as disclosure management.

“As a result, the client improved the accuracy, flexibility, and integrity of their data reporting that resulted in better financial performance”

Longview fulfilled these requirements with their CPM solution that is built for unifying key functional areas of finance in a single platform. As a result, the client improved the accuracy, flexibility, and integrity of their data reporting that resulted in better financial performance. They could also supplant legacy procedures and manual tasks with automation and data analytics that allowed them to remain focused on value creation. Built from the ground up with the office of the CFO in mind, Longview’s solution empowers financial teams to save time by making swift provisioning and planning decisions. “Clients have explored our inventive technology offerings to build unique use cases relevant to their business,” says Stevens.

Integrated suite of solutions

The ability of Longview to drive customer success is attributed to its unique work culture, where qualified professionals are given the opportunity to not only grow their careers but also make a difference in the product management process. “Longview has been leveraging the team’s rich expertise and diverse culture to nurture an environment of innovation where user experience is at the epicenter,” remarks Hatton. With rich domain expertise as well as strong practice experience, Longview’s team has delivered successful outcomes to clients from Fortune 500 companies. “Our employees provide assistance above and beyond our software to provide successful outcomes to customers,” elaborates Stevens.

Looking ahead, Longview is focusing on enhancing the user experience and allowing CFOs to be self-reliant such that they can carry out analytics and browse data more readily. Similarly, Longview is adding different types of calculation algorithms to its planning solution to process a larger number of FX transactions more quickly. On the tax front, Longview is extending its solutions portfolio by adding new features for broader functionalities such as operational transfer pricing. To strengthen its position in the market, the company is also facilitating deeper collaboration with its partners to offer innovative and creative solutions powered by experience.

Download our Whitepapers
Accounting Software
Finance Process
Finance Process
FD Surveys
Finance Process
Finance Process
Read more
C-suite Communication